Monday, September 25, 2017

PSU Teach Ag at Wine and Swine Celebration of Blue Corduroy (@PAFFAAlumni)

On September 23, 2017 the 1st Annual Wine and Swine Celebration of Blue Corduroy was held at The Winery at Hunter's Valley. The Pennsylvania FFA Alumni had hosted the event to raise funds for the First Year FFA Jacket campaign. Throughout the night there was a silent auction for chapter baskets as well as other auction items with the money going towards FFA Jackets. Teach Ag was invited to go to represent Penn State at the event. Each of our student cohorts were represented which included George Dietrich #psuaged18, Victoria Herr #psuaged19, Luke Kerstetter #psuaged20, Alicia Gates #psuaged20, Libby Baker-Mikesell #psuaged21, and Sam Loy #psuaged21. It was a casual event with yard games featured for entertainment. Overall the event was successful, entertaining, and Teach Ag was exemplified well by our cohort representatives.
Left to Right - Luke Kerstetter, Beth Winklosky, George Dietrich, Victoria Herr, Sam Loy, Libby Baker-Mikesell, Alicia Gates

Luke Kerstetter

Student Blogger

Twitter Handle: @lmkerstetter96

2020 Agricultural Education Student Teacher

Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcome to the #TeachAg Family, Libby Baker-Mikesell (@baker_mi16)!

Libby Baker-Mikesell at the Nittany Lion Shrine.
@TeachAgPSU would like to give a warm welcome to Libby Baker-Mikesell (@baker_mi16) as she joinst the #TeachAg family! After completing her term of service as the Pennsylvania FFA State President, she's ready to take on the next commitment as a Freshman in the Agricultural Extension & Education major, and a member of the #psuaged21 cohort.

Since serving as a state FFA officer in the 2016-17 year, Libby has gained a deeper appreciation for those in the agriculture industry that work to provide us the food we eat every day. We asked Libby what skills she's gained as a state officer that will help her as a future educator, and she said, "...some of the best lessons were learned in the classroom. One of my favorite things I got to do this year was facilitating workshops for high school students. Planning and conducting leadership and agriculture based workshops and investing time into planning effective lessons will help in my future career. Teaching classes with limited resources has taught me to be flexible in lesson planning, timing, and in modifying lessons for students." 

Welcome to the @PSUTeachAg family!
Libby is more than familiar with the agriculture industry, growing up on her family's beef farm and spending a lot of time in her mother's Ag Ed classroom at Greenwood High School in Juniata County. Libby attended Greenwood High School and went through the agricultural education program led by Ms. Krista Pontius (@KristaPontius) and Mr. Michael Clark. It was here that she says her passion for agriculture was realized and her FFA journey began. She was active in the Parliamentary Procedure CDE and Agriscience Fair. She also maintained Agriscience Research, Beef Entrepreneurship, and On-farm Placement SAE projects as well.

She said her decision to teach Ag was made after, "Seeing firsthand the impact that my mother made on her students and in turn, my Ag teachers on myself and my classmates..."  She's excited to be able to combine her love of teaching with her passion for agriculture into a degree in Agricultural Education. Libby sees the agricultural education classroom as a place to make connections and forge relationships with students as they grow over their high school careers. Given the importance of agriculture in our history, as well as its importance in feeding a growing world, Libby says that Agricultural Education is our chance to show students that everyone has their own role in the industry, and Ag Ed programs teach our students how they can "be a key player in creating a world that is no longer food-insecure."

Finally, we asked Libby if she has any advice for those that are thinking about a career in Agricultural Education. She sees agricultural education as a unique opportunity for all; "You can walk into an Ag classroom and see the special education student sitting beside the straight-A student and the star of the football team. There is a place for everyone within the Ag classroom, and it is a privilege to teach all students about the importance of America’s number one industry." 

We wish Libby the best of luck as she begins a new journey down the exciting path of becoming an Agricultural Educator. Surely her passion for agriculture and valuable experiences as a State FFA Officer will help to positively shape her experiences in the AEE program. Welcome to the @TeachAgPSU family!

Hunter Kauffman, Student Blogger
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
The Pennsylvania State University
Instagram: kauffman_hunter

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Congratulations Nathan Repetz (@N8_Repetz); #psuaged17 member Hired!

A big congratulations to Mr. Nathan Repetz, #psuaged17 member and 2017 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, who was just hired onto the educational team at Benton Area Middle-Senior High School in Benton, PA.

In Nathan's time at Penn State, he was heavily involved throughout the University, being a member of Teach Ag! Society (taking part in their yearly Domestic Study Away), the Teach Ag! Avengers, a brother of Alpha Zeta, and even on the Penn State Altoona Cross Country team.

When asked what the most interesting thing about his student teaching experience was, Repetz said, "I enjoyed challenging my own content knowledge in welding and plant science with eager students, top notch facilities, and veteran teachers. I also enjoyed getting to know the surrounding community through the program. It was those connections that brought me this opportunity." Nathan's case is a prime example of the value in the connections  made through the student teacher preparation program; Central Columbia High School is only about 20 miles away from his new home in the Benton School District.

Mr. Repetz teaching during one of his shop classes at Central Columbia. 
Mr. Repetz gets a very unique opportunity, joining alongside #psuaged11 member and fellow Penn State graduate Ms. Amanda Hack as he shapes a new Ag Mechanization program for the school. After Benton's previous tech-ed teacher left the school district, the school's shop facility and it's corresponding classroom have been sitting empty for the past year.

It's exciting to see new life brought to that learning space as Nathan fills the tech-ed role and gets to create his own unique blend of traditional shop classes and agricultural classes to meet the needs and interests of his students and the community. Mr. Repetz will be teaching a variety of subjects, including Power Machinery, Building Trades, Woodworking, Advanced Woodworking, Intro to Ag Mechanics, and 8th Grade Ag and Forestry.

When asked what advice he has for students looking to enter Ag Ed, Mr. Repetz replied that, "It really is a lifestyle choice, not a job. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you are at all interested in teaching Ag, there are great resources to explore the opportunities. You may find that this is for you, or you may find that it is not. That’s OK! If you don’t check it out you already made that choice, so don’t limit yourself!"

We asked Nathan about his new job, and the life ahead of him, and he said, "I'm right where I need to be." We're excited to see Mr. Repetz step into this new position, and are wishing him the best of luck as he moves forward in his career!

Hunter Kauffman, Student Blogger
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
The Pennsylvania State University
Instagram: kauffman_hunter

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Congratulations Matthew Rider (@mvr5027); #psuaged17 member Hired!

Matthew Rider and the Penn State Nittany Lion Shrine.
Matthew Rider has been hired by Stuart's Draft High School in Augusta County, Virginia. The recent graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, and #psuaged17 member, now has an opportunity to put his skills to the test and grow professionally and personally as the newest member of the agricultural education team at the school.

During his time at Penn State, Matthew took advantage of numerous opportunities, being part of the Penn State Soil Judging team and a brother of Penn State's chapter of Alpha Tau Alpha , the National Professional Honorary Fraternity for Agricultural Education. 

His initial teaching experience took place at Tyrone Area High School, where he taught for the Spring semester of 2016 under the advice of experienced teacher Ms. Tiffany Hoy (@hoytffany). Just one of the many interesting topics that Mr. Rider said he was able to teach at Tyrone was " to introduce yourself in a professional setting"

Mr. Rider with one of his students.
In his new position at Stuart's Draft High School, he will be working alongside his cooperating teacher, Mr. Berry Gray. Although Matthew is stepping into an agricultural education program that's over 40 years old, and making quite a far move from his home in State College, he is more than optimistic about his new job, stating the famous quote from movie 'Forrest Gump', "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

Stuart's Draft owns a small animal facility as well as a student garden that Mr. Rider will surely make use of. Some of the primary classes Mr. Rider will be teaching are Small and Large Animal Science, Greenhouse Production, and Floriculture. A piece of advice he leaves with students looking into agricultural education is that it's serious business, but you can't be too serious. 

We wish the best of luck to Matthew Rider as he steps into his new career, and look forward to seeing the impact he makes in the lives of his students!

Hunter Kauffman, Student Blogger
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
The Pennsylvania State University
Instagram: kauffman_hunter

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Fives Years of #TeachAg Excellence

Throwback Thursday

Five Years of #TeachAg Excellence

To celebrate this weeks #TBT we are going back to look at the #TeachAg Excellence from the last Five Years of Student Teaching Candidates.  

#PSUAgEd17 :


Some fun facts:
  • Taught 46 unique classes during the 2017 Spring Semester totally 106 units of instruction
  • Has earned a total of 8 unique majors and minors
To learn more check out their own highlights blog:

#PSUAgEd16 : 


Some fun facts:
  • Taught 71 unique classes during the 2017 Spring Semester totally 159 units of instruction
  • Has earned a total of 11 unique majors and minors
To learn more check out their own highlights blog:

#PSUAgEd15 : 


Some fun facts:
  • Taught 102 unique classes during the 2017 Spring Semester totally 202 units of instruction
  • Has earned a total of 16 unique majors and minors
To learn more check out their own highlights blog:

#PSUAgEd14 : 


Some fun facts:
  • Taught 104 unique classes during the 2017 Spring Semester totally 222 units of instruction
  • Has earned a total of 17 unique majors and minors
To learn more check out their own highlights blog:

#PSUAgEd13 : 


Some fun facts:
  • Taught 74 unique classes during the 2017 Spring Semester totally 159 units of instruction
  • Has earned a total of 13 unique majors and minors
To learn more check out their own highlights blog:

George Dietrich, Student Blogger
Twitter Handle: @TheGeorge4H
#PSUAgEd18 Member
Cumberland Valley Student Teaching Canidate

National Teach Ag Day Celebration

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Make plans to celebrate National Teach Ag Day on September 21st! 

Submit a Photo!
Being an agriculture teacher is an awesome career choice. We want to recognize all the current and future agriculture teachers who have answered the call to Change Lives and Teach Ag! Submit a photo and information to by 11:59pm EDT on Monday, September 11. 
Approved photos will be displayed during the live Teach Ag Day webcast on Thursday, September 21st between 1-3pm EDT.  You can watch the live webcast by going to the Teach Ag website on September 21st.
Click here for more details
& to submit your photo!

Share on Social Media!!

You have the BEST. JOB. EVER! Make sure everyone knows about it!!!
Share what you are doing to celebrate!!! Share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
You might even be featured during our live webcast.

Showcase YOUR Adventure of a Lifetime!
Either individually, as a program, as a small group, or collegiate institution create a 15-30 second video using the theme Teach Ag…An Adventure of a Lifetime!
  • Make sure your video is fun, in good taste and highlights why being an agriculture teacher is an adventure of a lifetime.
  • Approved videos will air during the live Teach Ag Day webcast on Thursday, September 21st.
  • The video with the most views in each category between September 17th and September 21st will win!
Click here for more information & to get started on your video!

Make the News!
Help promote ag education through numerous resources available on the Teach Ag website!
Here are just a few to start your promotion:
Click here for more great resources & start promoting the BEST. JOB. EVER!!!

InviteYour Friends & Watch Live!
National Teach Ag Day is a great opportunity to share with others your LOVE for ag education and PASSION for teaching! Here are some ideas for hosting your own party:
  • Gather your friends, colleagues, peers, advisors, & anyone else you can think of to share in the National Teach Ag Day celebration!
  • Nominate someone you think will be a great ag teacher!
  • Order in lunch & watch the National Teach Ag Day live webcast!
  • Purchase a Teach Ag kit for yourself or someone you know who will be a great ag teacher!!

Contact Us
Ellen Thompson
Project Director
Andrea Fristoe
Program and Communications Assistant
Victoria Hamilton
Marketing Assistant
Elisa Russ
Teach Ag Intern

The National Teach Ag Campaign is a project of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. For more information, visit the Teach Ag website.Funding for the National Teach Ag Campaign is provided by the CHS Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, Growth Energy, and BASF as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.